I’m not particularly cool. I don’t wear creepers, thick-rimmed glasses or have t-shirts with the faces of bands emblazoned on the front. Wearing oversized shirts and granny cardigans don’t make me look unique and alternative; they make me look like a granny. And my constant use of the term “poohead” definitely means the arms of hipster-dom will never be opened to me. But Saturday gone, I did feel cool. On Saturday night, I went to see Benjamin Francis Leftwich in Whelan’s
Benjamin Francis WHO, I hear you say. The reaction I got from almost every person I mentioned him to. Cue me jumping into the stirrups of my high horse and galloping off into my little bubble of superiority. Well my uninformed pals Benjamin Francis Leftwich just happens to be the best singer in the whole world, an opinion that may be slightly if not completely biased considering I would happily marry the man tomorrow.
Better known for songs such as “Atlas Hands” and “Pictures”, Leftwich is a master in the art of indie. His debut album ‘Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm’ is a montage of chillingly beautiful vocals and simple lyrics. So when I heard he would be playing a gig in Dublin for a mere 15 euros I was just a little bit ecstatic
With my ticket and not so enthusiastic companion in tow I arrived at Whelan’s and was greeted with a decent sized crowd that exuded a chilled and happy atmosphere. With non-prescription glasses and Fedora hats in every direction I turned, it was clear I had walked into a hipster hotspot. Making a nice change from my usual Dicey’s of a Monday or Palace of a Thursday, I was more than happy to attempt to blend in. A task I more than likely failed but attempted nonetheless
Beginning his set with probably one of my favourite songs on his album, ‘pictures’, the crowd was hypnotised from start to finish. Despite complaining of a recent throat infection that had caused him to cancel a show in Belfast the night before Leftwich managed to sing his way through an hour long set. Finishing off with his most popular song Atlas Hands, he stepped away from the mic and asked the crowd to sing along. Using just a guitar and the crowd to carry his voice, Leftwich treated his fans to a truly personal and unique experience.
After the set finished it was time for me to go into full super-fan mode. Deciding I wouldn’t be leaving without at least a T-shirt, I queued for about 5 minutes and found myself with my T-shirt, signed ticket and a picture. Safe to say I was fairly delighted.
Overall the night was a complete success and I can only hope Benjamin sticks to his promise of returning to Ireland next year. With his constant claims of “Dublin is f*cking awesome” (which he said it at least 30 times) I’m feeling confident it’s a promise he will keep.